Great news! The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) just finalized a new regulation  that will make it easier for some veterans with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) who also have parkinsonism, including Parkinson's disease, to receive additional disability pay. This will enable the VA to decide these claims more expeditiously and efficiently.
This is a victory for the Parkinson's community and speaks to the power of unified advocacy. Earlier this year, the Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) submitted comments  on the proposed regulation and encouraged Parkinson's advocates to submit comments in support of the proposal. 88% of the comments were from the Parkinson's community! We made a difference!
The new regulation, which takes effect January 16, 2014, will impact veterans living with TBI who also have Parkinson's disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures, or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. If a veteran had a moderate or severe TBI as a result of service and also has Parkinson's, then the Parkinson's will also be considered service connected for the calculation of VA disability compensation.
PAN applauds the VA for its continued efforts to keep current on the latest science and to expand benefits to veterans living with parkinsonism, depression, and dementia. We are also encouraged that the VA and Department of Defense recently invested $62.2 million in a research consortium  to better understand the long term effects of TBI and development of Parkinson's.
Veterans who have questions or who wish to file new disability claims may use the eBenefits website, available at www.eBenefits.va.gov .
Learn more about our work to support veterans with Parkinson's .
Read the VA's press release .
P.S. Have you supported PAN this year? Help us continue our work into 2014 by donating now .
Date originally posted: December 17, 2013.